Amgen Inc. and BioLabs LA at the Lundquist Institute announced that Karma Biotechnologies is the recipient of the annual Amgen Golden Ticket.
Karma, a Los Angeles startup focused on autoimmunity, allergy and food sensitivity treatments, will receive one year of lab space at BioLabs LA at the Lundquist Institute in Torrance, additional facility benefits and connections to Amgen executives.
Karma’s ticket is the second of three to be awarded through 2023 to support science startups in Southern California.
“We are thrilled and deeply honored that the experts at Amgen see the value and novelty of our Xavine tolerogenic vaccine platform for treating and preventing autoimmunity and allergies,” Dr. Andrew Gray, Karma’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Having access to the phenomenal resources at BioLabs LA and Amgen’s clinical development expertise will rapidly accelerate Karma’s R&D;, and help us make a difference in patients’ lives that much sooner.”
Amgen Golden Ticket winners are selected by the Thousand Oaks company’s leaders through a virtual pitch event that requires five finalists to pitch their business plans to an internal committee. The committee then evaluates the pitches on the strength and novelty of their scientific rationale, subject matter expertise and business plan viability.
“Amgen’s partnership with BioLabs LA at the Lundquist Institute is contributing to the acceleration of bioscience innovation in the Los Angeles area, aligning with our vision to progress the development of breakthrough therapies to serve patients suffering from serious illness,” Philip Tagari, Amgen’s vice president of therapeutic discovery, said in a statement.
Shares of Amgen (AMGN) closed up $2.01, or a fraction of a percent, to $232.38 on the Nasdaq Tuesday, a day when the market closed up more than 1 percent.